This paper encompasses part of the complex topic of relationships between consumers, organic products, and advertising in America with a particular focus on Tempe, Arizona. Background research included in this paper includes how the term "organic" was developed and regulated to fit the federal standards that are implied through the use of the USDA organic label that was introduced in October of 2002. Further research considers the factors that have empirically and overwhelmingly contributed to motivations of attitude development and purchasing behaviors of the average organic consumer in America, tracking changes and potential causes over the past several decades. A large proportion of this paper analyzes the results of a survey conducted in Tempe between late 2014 and early 2015. This survey, shown in the appendices, includes responses from 310 Tempe consumers regarding questions of demographics, knowledge and perception of organic products, perceived access to organic products, consumer values, and purchasing behaviors. The results of the survey reflect the values displayed in previous studies on national surveys, with some discrepancies that appear to set Tempe apart from the national average. However, the results of the survey are limited by their exclusion and limited parsing of multiple confounds. Additionally, the respondents of the survey were not proportionate to the actually population of Tempe and therefore cannot be accurately generalized to the Tempe population as a whole. The third and final section of this paper deals with the relationship between advertisers and consumers. This considers how advertising helps to develop product values and perceptions through various methods. Future directions for advertising of organic products is also addressed, as advertisers can potentially become a source of developing scientific information if properly utilized. Further directives and gaps in research are addressed in the final portion of the paper and include how to increase consumer knowledge, the problems faced by organic advocates, what is important about what we already know, and where to go from here.
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- Consumer Perceptions and Behavior: Organic Products in America
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